July 7, 2005
Hospital Hosts Veterans Affairs Musicians
by JOSN Heather Weaver
Photo by JOSN Heather Weaver
Dr. Mary Aubertin, a dentist at the University of
Tennessee and a Veterans Affairs band member, reads the
music to a song. Aubertin and her fellow musicians
performed at the National Naval Medical Center in
recognition of Flag Day.
Journal staff writer
The National Naval Medical Center welcomed the Veterans
Affairs National Medical Musical Group June 27, for a concert in
front of Radiology. A small ensemble of musicians from Veterans
Affairs' larger symphony, scheduled to perform on Capital Hill
June 28, provided entertainment for hospital visitors and staff.
"Our mission is to perform music of healing, unity,
inspiration and patriotism," said Dr. Victor Wahby, director of
Special Projects of Veterans Health Administra-tion. "There is
nothing more rewarding than having our musicians perform for our
The musical group, founded by Wahby nearly 10 years ago, is
comprised of men and women from different locations throughout
the U.S. Each year the group gives two concerts, one in November
to honor Veteran's Day and the other in June to honor Flag Day.
They perform in different cities for each concert. According to
CAPT Wayne McBride, a Bureau of Medicine and Surgery staff
member and band participant, the group receives their music in
the mail a few weeks before a given performance and comes
together only a few days prior to each performance to practice.
"People got here Saturday, rehearsed Saturday and our big
concert is [three days later]," McBride said. "It's up to the
group member to learn the music himself."
The group has also performed in some 15 countries, including
Australia and Russia. The overseas tours generally follow the
November concert and aim at promoting global harmony through
The group's chorus and orchestra perform about a dozen songs
and feature dramatic narratives integrated into the music,
McBride said. The narratives are dispersed with musical elements
and provide a musical method of faith and patriotism.